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Directions in Case you Encounter a Bear


The real cause for the presence of a bear near inhabited villages is related to bad administrative practices by humans, such as the maintenance of dumps and the depletion of their natural habitat (construction works, fires, hunting). These conditions lead the bear closer to inhabited villages in its search for food.

The bear is an animal strictly protected by the Greek and European legislation and killing it is punished by law. A bear approaches inhabited areas exclusively in search of food and the damage that may be caused is compensated by the Organism of Greek Agricultural Insurances (ELGA).

Inhabitants of many places in Greece, who lived near the bear’s habitat, often experience occasional visits. We hope that the initial intimidation and fear will give their place to pride for the appearance of the bear in their area; this rare and precious species.

If you are lucky enough to see a bear….

Tradition says that meeting a bear means health and good luck. In order to reduce the danger of meeting a big animal such as a bear in the forest as much as possible, everybody should know that:

The bear has exceptional sense of smell and of hearing and not so much good vision.

The bear also has excellent memory and high intelligence.

Its vital area is 100-150 Km2 for a female and more than 400 Km2 for a male.
If it is not bothered, it follows a stable routine in its daily movements. It uses the same streams and forest roads, the same path to its nest, the same trees to find fruits.

The standing posture is behavior of detection or fear and not a sign of imminent attack.

This means that the bear easily perceives its surroundings and usually understands the presence of humans well in advance and keeps its distance.

In case of meeting a bear there is a basic rule:


This means:

1. we keep calm

2. we remain motionless

3. we do not take hold of “threatening” objects such as stones and sticks.

4. we try to gradually recede recognizing the bear’s dominance in its area.

5. in full view of the bear, we try to appear bigger.

6. we do not run

7. in case of narrow spaces we allow a course of escape for the bear and do not obstruct its path.

Chances are that by the time we have finished thinking about all these, the bear will have already gone.

If a bear visits regularly an inhabited area:

If you are outdoors, make sure that you continuously make noise or speak.

Gather waste from outdoor areas, squares, yards, as well as anything that the bear could feed on and that could consequently attract her to the region.

Clean the remains of last year’s crop that could exist in nearby fields.

Remember that the bear is active mainly from nightfall until dawn, and that it may be using the area as passage.

Inform the local authorities: The Municipality, The Forest Authorities and the Police.

Inform the ARKTOUROS Organization: Tel. 2310 555920 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am-5.00 pm) and 23860 41500 (every day –except Wednesday- and on weekends 9.00am -5.00pm).


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